Skip to main content

Manifesto for a green, just and democratic european economy

15 March 2022

[English] [français]

Sign the manifesto here

We are civil society organisations, think tanks, trade unions and employers supported by academics from across the European Union.

We have come together to call for fundamental reform of the EU’s fiscal rules.

The aim of economic policy across Europe must not be to simply reduce debt. The economy needs to serve the reduction of socio-economic, intergenerational and gender inequalities, the realisation of social rights and the protection of climate and environment. The EU’s fiscal framework should fully support just transitions and a systemic transformation of our economies and societies to keep global warming below 1.5°C.

The Maastricht Treaty, signed in 1992, and legislative changes following the global financial crisis, created strict fiscal limits that cap member states’ public debt and deficits. While coordinating fiscal policies is necessary in a monetary union, these rules, with new challenges facing Europe, are no longer fit for purpose.

First, they impose persistent constraints on public spending, depressing employment and investment. In many countries unemployment rates, especially youth unemployment rates, are still at unacceptable levels.

Second, they fall short of ensuring we can adapt to and mitigate climate change through a just transition. The annual green investment gap was recently assessed by the European Commission at 520 billion euros. To fill the gap, substantial public funding will be needed. The imposition of arbitrary fiscal limits make this target unreachable.

A return to the EU fiscal rules - suspended during the Covid-19 crisis - would translate into severe cuts in public spending in a majority of EU member states.
New austerity would jeopardise the recovery from the socio-economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, and annihilate progress made thanks to the Recovery and Resilience Facility. It would deepen social inequalities and erode the citizens’ trust in the EU. And it would leave many people and governments without sufficient resources to engage in the green and just transition, affecting cohesion and convergence between member states.

We therefore call for deep reform of the EU economic governance framework, to make sure reformed fiscal rules will be consistent with agreed EU social, climate and environmental goals. Spending quality is of the essence: citizens’ money must be well-spent and serve democratically-defined objectives.

We call for a socio-economic transformation of our economic model, a change of paradigm, emphasising the need for considerably increased public investment as well as a strong social dimension of the economic governance, supported by the European Pillar of Social Rights.

We also call for a new approach to ensuring member states’ debt sustainability. Reforms must take into account national contexts, the need to avoid self-defeating austerity, the convergence of European economies, and the building up of fiscal risks.

Climate-related fiscal risks – i.e. the impact that underinvesting in climate change mitigation and adaptation will have on public budgets – need to be part of the country-specific debt sustainability analyses.

Regulatory and administrative measures, taxation as well as additional funding also have a role to play to trigger and orient private investments.

Most importantly, governments have the responsibility to steer the way to operate a socially just green transition. The European Union cannot afford to take any other path.


Finance Watch, Belgium
The European Trade Union Confederation, Belgium
SGI Europe, Belgium
The European Environmental Bureau, Belgium
Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Belgium
Greenpeace EU, Belgium
The European Youth Forum, Belgium
Sustainable Finance Lab, Netherlands
New Economics Foundation, UK
Greentervention, France
Fondation pour la Nature et l’Homme, France
Union Network International-Europa (UNI Europa), Belgium
European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU), Belgium
IndustriAll European Trade Union, Belgium
Fédération Européenne des Retraités et Personnes gées, Belgium
Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB), Germany
Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL), Italy
Federazione Italiana Reti dei Servizi del Terziario (FIRST CISL), Italy
UIL Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
The Cyprus Workers Confederation (SEK), Cyprus
Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia (UATUC-SSSH), Croatia
Unión Sindical Obrera USO, Spain
Confederation of Christian Trade Unions Belgium (ACV-CSC), Belgium
Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail (CFDT), France
The Finnish Confederation of Professionals (STTK), Finland
International Union of Tenants (IUT), Sweden
Naturefriends International, Austria
Naturfreunde, Switzerland
eco-union, Spain
Clean Air Action Group, Hungary
Legambiente, Italy
CEEweb for Biodiversity, Hungary
France Nature Environnement, France
National Youth Council of Ireland, Ireland
CNCD-11.11.11, Belgium
ZERO - Association for the Sustainability of the Earth System, Portugal
Naturefriends Greece, Greece
Association Justice and Environment, EU
Seas At Risk, Belgium
Youth Express Network , France
Zaļā brīvība, Latvia
Federazione Gruppo Italiano Amici Della Natura, Italia
Lifelong Learning Platform, Belgium
Portuguese National Youth Council, Portugal
MEDASSET - Mediterranean Association to save the Sea Turtles, Greece
SOLIDAR, Belgium
Association For Promotion Sustainable Development, India
Fair Trade Advocacy Office, Belgium
Etopia, Belgium
International Young Naturefriends, Austria
TDM 2000 International ETS, Italy
vetoNu, Sweden
Crash Course Economics, Netherlands
Feasta: the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability, Ireland
Social Platform, Belgium
Deutscher Naturschutzring (DNR), Germany
Green Foundation Ireland, Ireland
Women Engaged for a Common Future International, Netherlands
ATTAC, Spain
NaturFreunde Deutschlands e.V., Germany
Polish Zero Waste Association, Poland
Reset.Vlaanderen, Belgium
Climate Strategy, Spain
Asociación Canarias Archipiélago Sostenible, Spain
Focus Eco Center, Romania
Positive Money Europe, Belgium
Let’s Do It Foundation, Estonia
Eurodiaconia, Belgium
MVO Nederland, Netherlands
The Other Economy, France
Mensa Cívica, Spain
11 maart beweging, Belgium
The National Youth Council of Latvia, Latvia, Europe
Germanwatch e.V., Germany
Lifelong Learning Platform, Belgium
Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos [MedINA], Greece
Grands-Parents pour le Climat (Belgique francophone), Belgique
Association Green Istria (Udruga Zelena Istra), Croatia
Priatelia Zeme-CEPA, Slovakia
CEE Bankwatch Network, Czech Republic
Studenten voor Morgen, Netherlands
European Environmental Bureau, Belgium
Nyt Europa, Denmark
Netzwerk Gute Wirtschaft, Deutschland
EU Umweltbüro, Austria
National Alliance of Student Organisations in Romania (ANOSR), Romania
CONCORD Europe, Belgium
Fingo - Finnish Development NGOs, Finland
Natuur & Milieu, The Netherlands
Nederlandse Vereniging Duurzame Energie, Netherlands
Bond Beter Leefmilieu, Belgium
Milieudefensie - FoE Netherlands, Netherlands
Environmental Association Za Zemiata - FoE Bulgaria, Bulgaria
PowerShift e.V., Germany
Mouvement Ecologique, Luxembourg
European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities, Belgium
Oikopolis, Greece
CALLISTO Wildlife and Nature Conservation Society, Greece
Grüne Wirtschaft, Austria
Aplinkosaugos koalicija (Lithuanian Environmental Coalition), Lithuania
European Students Union, Belgium
Klimaatcoalitie - Coalition Climat BE, België
Citizen’s Climate Europe, Netherlands
SDG Watch Europe, Europe
transform! europe, Belgium
EuroNatur, Germany
Inter Environnement Wallonie, Belgium
Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU), Belgium
vzw Climaxi, Belgium
Portuguese National Youth Council, Portugal
Pasaules Dabas Fonds, Latvia
Institut Veblen, France
Eurochild, Belgium
European Sustainable Business Federation, Belgium
Friends of the Earth Europe, Belgium
monneta gGmbH, Germany
Regios eG, Deutschland
AGE Platform Europe, Belgium
Climate Express, Belgium
FiscalFuture e.V., Germany
SÜDWIND, Germany
ActionAid Denmark, Denmark
European Confederation of Cooperatives in Industry and Services, Belgium
Réseau Action Climat, France
OIKOS - Cooperação e Desenvolvimento, Portugal
Observatori del Deute en la Globalitzacio, Spain
Financial Justice Ireland, Ireland
Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll), UK
Make Mothers Matter (MMM), France
Malta National Youth Council (KNŻ), Malta
VšĮ "Žiedinė ekonomika", Lithuania
National Youth Council of Slovenia, Slovenia
Friends of the Earth Malta, Malta
AK Europa, Austria
Institut Rousseau, France
Veblen Institute for Economic Reforms, France
Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), Belgium
Les Econologistes, Belgium
Association pour le Développement des Études Keynésiennes (ADEK), France
The Nevin Economic Research Institute NERI, Ireland
Arbeitsgruppe Alternative Wirtschaftspolitik e.V., Germany
Forum pour la Transition, Belgium
ECCO Think Thank, Italy
Dezernat Zukunft, Germany
Instrat Foundation, Poland
Our New Economy, Netherlands
Transnational Institute (TNI), Netherlands
Forum Ökologisch-Soziale Marktwirtschaft e.V., Germany
FleXibles - Association for the investigation of a new economy-system, Switzerland
Climate & Company, Germany
Scientists for Future Germany, Germany
Rada mládeže Slovenska, Slovakia

Olivier Blanchard, MIT, emerite Robert Solow Professor, USA
Steven Keen, University College of London, UK
Siobhan Airey, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Philipp Heimberger, Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, Austria
Hielke Van Doorslaer, Ghent University, Belgium
Guillaume Sacriste, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France
Antoine Vauchez, Université Paris 1 CNRS, France
Thomas Lagoarde-Segot, KEDGE BS, France
David Cayla, Université d’Angers, France
Ramaux Christophe, Université Paris 1, Economistes atterrés, France
Laurence Scialom, University Paris Nanterre, France
Michel Dévoluy, Michel Dévoluy, Professeur honoraire des universités, France
Dominique Plihon, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, France
Léo Charles, Université Rennes 2, France
Jeremy Leaman, Loughborough University, United Kingdom
Pascal Glémain, Université Rennes 2, France
Roland Pérez, Université Montpellier MRM, France
Werner Raza, EuroMemo Group - European Economists for an Alternative Economic Policy in Europe, Austria
Jorge Uxó, Universidad de Castilla, La Mancha y MacroAFE, Spain
Vivien Schmidt, Boston University, USA
Marek Hudon, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Marc-Olivier Leclerq, KEDGE Business School, Belgium
Iván H. Ayala, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain
Seraina Grünewald, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
David Bokhorst, European University Institute, Netherlands
Marija Bartl, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Candida Leone, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Irene van Staveren, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands
Hans Schenk, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Karen Maas, Impact Centre Erasmus Rotterdam, Netherlands
Luis Reyes Ortiz, KEDGE Business School, France
Herman Wijffels, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Luis Reyes Ortiz, KEDGE Business School, France
Stefano Lucarelli, Università di Bergamo, Italy
Andrea Fumagalli, University of Pavia, Italy
Prof Tim Jackson, University of Surrey, UK
Dirk Ehnts, Fachhochschule Magdeburg-Stendal, Germany
Oriol Roca-Sagalés, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
Javier Asensio, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
Gracjan R. Bachurewicz, University of Warsaw, Poland
Daniela Cialfi, University of Studies Gabriele d’Annunzioo Chieti-Pescara, Italy
Andrew Denis, City, University of London, United Kingdom
Jörg Bibow, Skidmore College, United States
Eckhard Hein, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany
Richard Murphy, Sheffield University Management School, United Kingdom
Michel Dévoluy, Université de Strasbourg, France
Marie-Annick Barthe, Université de Paris , France
Felix FitzRoy, University of St. Andrews, UK
Martina Metzger, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany
Dany Lang, Sorbonne Paris Nord, France
Radhouan Ben Chalbia, Université de Sousse, Tunisie
Jan Priewe, HTW Berlin - University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Sergio Rossi, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, Switzerland
Milka Kazandziska, Jacobs University Bremen, Germany
Luiss Roma, Luiss Roma, Italy
Rosaria Rita Canale, University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy
Pier Giorgio Ardeni, University of Bologna, Dept. of Economics, Italy
Roberto Veneziani, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Johannes Schmidt, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Constantin Gurdgiev, Monfort College of Business, University of Northern Colorado, United States
Abderrahim Taamouti, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
Muhammad Ali Nasir, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Habib Ahmed, Durham University, United Kingdom
Marcus Miller, Department of Economics, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
Dario Guarascio, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
Hansjörg Herr, HWR Berlin (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Germany
Mark Blyth, Brown University, United States
Mario Morroni, University of Pisa, Italy
Jesus Ferreiro, Universidad del País Vasco UPV/EHU, Spain
Rick van der Ploeg, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Emanuele Leonardi, University of Bologna, Italy
José A. Pérez Montiel, University of the Balearic Islands, Spain
Pompeo Della Posta, Università di Pisa, Italy
Eugenio Caverzasi, Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Italy
Christina Teipen, HWR Berlin (Berlin School of Economics and Law), Germany
Jacek Schindler, University of Wroclaw, Poland
Yannis Dafermos, SOAS University of London, UK
Jakob Hafele, University of Linz, Germany
Gustav A. Horn, Universität Duisburg Essen, Germany
Deepa Govindarajan Driver, University and College Union, United Kingdom
Thorvald Grung Moe, Levy Economics Institute, Norway
Michael Roos, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
Maria Nikolaidi, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom
Antonio Rodriguez Gil, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Rainer Geiger, University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, France
Marc Lavoie, University Sorbonne Paris Nord, France
Michel Santi, HEC Paris, Switzerland
Wimar Bolhuis, Leiden University, Netherlands
Malcolm Sawyer, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Francesco Martucci, Francesco Martucci, France
Mauricio Rezende Dias, Lisbon University, Portugal
Philippe Quirion, CNRS, France
Jacques Généreux, Sciences Po-Paris, France
Daniel Mügge, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
David Barkhausen, Institute for Political Science, Heidelberg University, Germany
Jens van ’t Klooster, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nikolaos Karagiannis, Winston-Salem State University, United States
Servaas Storm, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
David F Hendry, Nuffield College, Oxford University, United Kingdom
Kate Raworth, University of Oxford, UK
Thierry Mertens, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
Grégoire Wallenbornn, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Ozlem Onaran , University of Greenwich , UK
Francesco Corti, University of Milan, Italy
Florian Ranft, Queen Mary University of London, Germany
Annamaria Simonazzi, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini, Italy
Olga Mikheeva, University College London, UK
Michael Jacobs , Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, University of Sheffield, UK
Lisa Herzog, University of Groningen, Netherlands
Dominique Meda, Universite Paris Dauphine, France
Same, Isabelle Ferreras , Belgium
Rogier Claessen, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Hielke Vandoorslaer, Ghent University, Belgium
David Rinaldi, David Rinaldi, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Daniela Gabor, University of West England, Bristol, UK
Nik de Boer, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Mike Doak, University of Cumbria , United Kingdom
Amandine Crespy, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

Subscribe to the newsletter